KUALA LUMPUR: There is no confirmation yet on whether a toll hike will be imposed for highways in 2015 said Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
In a press conference at Parliament lobby on Wednesday, Fadillah explained that a request for RM558.69mil compensation funds for highway concessionaire as mentioned by Deputy Works Minister Datuk Rosnah Shirin when she was answering to points raised during the Budget 2015 debate was merely a procedural process and not a concrete indicator that a hike will occur.
“The report that says there will be no toll hikes next year is inaccurate. What we carry out is standard procedure.”
“A budget is requested by the Finance Ministry to deal with toll provisions in the event there is a decision not to increase toll prices. Therefore, the provision will be available for use. This does not determine if there is a toll raise or not. It is just part of the procedure to request for budget from the government,” he said.
The Finance Ministry has approved RM458mil out of the requested amount to be allocated to the Works Ministry.
According to concession agreements for 2015, as many as 20 highways are eligible to receive an increase in toll prices which may range from RM0.50 to RM2.
A final decision on whether toll hikes will take place is dependent on the cabinet’s decision based on a recommendation by the Special Committee to Address the People’s Cost of Living (Jawatankuasa Khas Menangani Kos Sara Hidup Rakyat), chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The committee is tasked with looking into whether an increase in toll prices will be feasible with current costs of living. It may also propose alternative options to help alleviate the public’s financial constraints should toll prices increase.
The cabinet is expected to make a decision before January 2015.